MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles, Manila Bureau) – Once again, Rappler has been barred from covering an event at Malacañang, this time the launch of a government initiative to end tuberculosis, where President Rodrigo Duterte will be in attendance.
Like clockwork, Rappler immediately cried foul and “suppression of Press Freedom.”
But Malacañang and the Department of Health today issued a statement on the real reason the Rappler reporter was not issued accreditation to cover the event.
”Tuberculosis is a highly contagious bacterial infection that can quickly spread if not caught, isolated, and treated early. It is an airborne disease, and can be caught by breathing in the air that an infected person has contaminated through breathing or coughing,” the statement said.
”Since this is a TB prevention event, we wanted to make sure that all in attendance would be free of the bacteria and prevent them from infecting others, including the President. We therefore required attendees and members of the news media to submit a health clearance, showing a negative TB test.”
”The Rappler reporter failed to submit the required clearance, hence she was barred from covering the Malacañang event.”
Moral of the story: Press Freedom is not a substitute for a health clearance.